Wolf Administration Highlights Partnership Between Letterkenny Army Depot and WellSpan Health to Protect Medical Professionals, Community

Harrisburg, PA – Today, Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) Secretary Dennis Davin highlighted the efforts of Letterkenny Army Depot for its pivot to produce 120,000 protective medical gowns for WellSpan Health through a Public Private Partnership in response to the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on the ability for medical professionals to acquire personal protective equipment (PPE). A Public Private Partnership allows members of the Army’s Organic Industrial Base facilities like Letterkenny Army Depot to manufacture or sell products or services to the private sector. The Army depot also developed cloth face mask prototypes for WellSpan and shared the designs with other community partners.

Letterkenny is one of several military installations supported through DCED’s Pennsylvania Military Community Enhancement Commission (PMCEC). The commission provides funding to communities to support and enhance the value of their local military installations.

“Earlier this year when COVID-19 was beginning to overwhelm healthcare organizations, we were facing a major supply shortage for critical PPE for some of our most frontline and essential workers,” said Sec. Davin. “Letterkenny didn’t hesitate when approached for help by medical leaders in their community, showcasing qualities we know represent the committed members of our state’s military entities—ambition, dependability, and teamwork.”

In early April, Chambersburg Hospital became aware of Letterkenny’s upholstery shop in Franklin County through a local news special highlighting how the Army depot adjusted operations to create around 14,000 cloth masks for its employees and other Department of Defense installations. Within a day, WellSpan and Letterkenny were connected and began evaluating the capabilities of the Army depot’s upholstery shop, which traditionally makes items like canvas tents and kitchen and vinyl products. In York, WellSpan facilities were in dire need of isolation medical gowns and reached out to Letterkenny for assistance. Letterkenny immediately entered into the Public Private Partnership and reallocated resources to staff the upholstery shop to begin making gowns.

Pennsylvania has 13 military installations supported through PMCEC. Letterkenny serves as the Department of Defense Center of Industrial and Technical Excellence for Air Defense & Tactical Missile Ground Support Equipment, Mobile Electric Power Generation Equipment, Patriot Missile Recertification and Route Clearance Vehicles.

For the most up-to-date information on COVID-19, visit the Department of Health website. To receive the latest updates follow the Department of Health on Facebook and Twitter and Governor Wolf on Facebook and Twitter.

For more information about the Department of Community and Economic Development, visit the DCED website, and be sure to stay up-to-date with all of our agency news on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Casey Smith, DCED, casesmith@pa.gov

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